The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro hosted The Run-Up podcast to discuss Election 2016 in the weeks leading up to 9 November. Since the election, Barbaro continues to produce episodes that explore the aftermath. Just in time for the late-November holidays when numerous families reunite, the 18 November podcast outlined a script for facilitating potentially difficult conversations with family members who voted differently.
The likelihood of a person memorizing this script or carrying it with them while talking seems low. However, a key takeaway from reading through the nineteen questions is to focus on 1) the relationship between those speaking; 2) one’s feelings about policies and the status of the country; and 3) the impact of those feelings on the relationship between the speakers. The technique is a helpful reminder to stray away from behaving like surrogates for a candidate, but to instead have a conversation about the state of the country while keeping the sanctity of the relationship rooted.
The entire script is on the podcast website, and the podcast itself recorded conversations with pairs of Clinton and Trump voters.
Calling representatives is frequently characterized as an accessible form of direct action. Perhaps this apparent ease explains why calling campaigns circulate so regularly on social media. However, for anyone who experiences social anxiety calling may not be such an easy task.
Which is why Echo Through the Fog’s How to call your reps when you have social anxiety is a terrific addendum to the “We’re His Problem Now” Calling Sheet. This illustrated instructional guide walks a person through concrete steps to both achieve the goal of calling while managing and embracing one’s anxiety.
The Proactive things to do to not be defeated by the next 4 years is a starting point for those approaching the Trump election from the perspective of, “Fuck, how do I help un-fuck this situation?” It’s literally a simple to-do list of modest actions.
The list highlights bureaucratic protest (e.g., calling elected officials), administrative tasks (filing labor complaints, downloading public data sets) and daily routines (media consumption, donating) that seem mundane, but can form the basis for solving larger problems down the road. Some of these tasks are manageable and easily actionable, which can give clear guidance and goals for the user. Others make assumptions about users’ access to resources (paying parking tickets, clearing criminal records). Most of these are best viewed as individual long-term tasks to incrementally chip away at injustice.
Some notes are geared towards white people, with its mention of being an accomplice and not an ally, and for recommending the SNL episode hosted by Dave Chappelle (“You guys aren’t as full of surprises as you used to be“).
I came across the list on Facebook and I can’t trace where I found this, so I can’t provide source information. Anyone recall where this came from?